You’d never know that Star Trek: The Next Generation was 25 years old, at least not if you were at a movie theater last night for A Celebration of Season Two. The event, held around the country, featured restored/revamped, HD editions of the episodes “Q Who?” and “The Measure of a Man,” plus an array of additional content from the upcoming Blu-ray release of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Two.
The episodes looked and sounded great, better than ever, actually, which was the whole idea, and fans – several in Trek uniforms – cheered and laughed in all the right places at the screening StarTrek.com attended in Paramus, New Jersey. That was particularly the case with “Q Who?,” thanks to John de Lancie’s entertaining performance as the impish Q. Meanwhile, “The Measure of a Man” was presented in an extended edition, with scenes that had been edited out for time now restored and cut in seamlessly. As writer Melinda Snodgrass commented in a segment before the episode played, “Measure” was arguably the series’ most dialogue-heavy hour and it depicted more tension/competition between central characters than previously had been seen. The restored footage pushed that even further, especially a heated conversation between Picard and Riker that adds genuine heat to the hearing sequence later on.
The audience also clearly appreciated the extended glimpses at the extras that will be part of the Blu-ray set when it’s released on December 4. The first offered a look back at the making of season two, from the shocking departure of Gates McFadden to the arrival of Diana Muldaur, with McFadden, Muldaur, Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn and others commenting on the situation. The second captured a sit-down conversation with the reunited TNG cast in which they recounted landing their respective roles (Wil Wheaton and LeVar Burton were the only “names” when the show debuted), talked about the show’s impact on fans (and on them), and marveled at their unique chemistry on screen and off it. Fans were also treated to some bloopers and to a preview of the Season Three Blu-ray collection.
Following the screening, StarTrek.com grabbed a few moments with attendees Debbra Stolarik and her husband, Harry Leonardatos. Both sported Star Trek uniforms, albeit from Deep Space Nine. Leonardatos, a high school principal, seemed thrilled by the experience. “TNG was much different than The Original Series, but at the same time the message was the same, the message of hope,” he noted. “I just said to my wife, ‘I remember when I was seeing this live, on TV.' I remember how ‘Measure of a Man’ related to slavery. I remember teaching, what does it mean to be property? How can someone be the property of someone else? And this episode brought that to life. I used it in my teaching.”
Stolarik, meanwhile, admitted that she’s not quite as big a Trek fan as her husband, but said she admires the franchise and enjoyed the evening for a very personal reason. “It’s fun,” she explained. “I like the message. I like the diversity message. I get a real kick out of how ahead of their time they were. I was watching the computer search scene and thinking, ‘That’s Google-ing.’ So it’s fun. Plus, my husband doesn’t relax very much, so when he wants to do something like this, I’m game.”
Season Two is a 5-disc set that includes all 22 episodes, as well as more than 120 minutes of brand-new documentaries that include recently recorded cast and crew interviews. Fans can expect an extended version of the episode “The Measure of a Man,” audio commentaries, a gag reel, Archival Mission Logs and Featurettes (among them “Reunification: 25 Years After The Next Generation” and “Making It So: Continuing The Next Generation”). Season Two will be available for the suggested retail price of $129.99 in the U.S.
You can pre-order from Season 2 on Blu-ray by clicking your country below.
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